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Undone – a Compelling Memoir

undoneI first heard about Undone from my wife. She is a friend of the author, Michele Cushatt, having attended college with her and now being Facebook friends. I wasn’t planning to read the book because I put it in the category of a “chick book.” I know there are movies that guys refer to as “chick flicks” so I kind of put this memoir into that category – a book for women written by a women. My wife started reading it and kept talking about how much she enjoyed it, so I decided to get a copy. I’m glad I did.

The subtitle of the book is “a story of making peace with an unexpected life.” Not only is Cushatt a gifted writer (she has a way with words), but part of her story had similarities to where my wife and I have been. She writes about the pain of divorce, an ongoing battle with cancer and managing a family with a biological child, two step-sons and three foster children. While I have never struggled with cancer, I related to enduring divorce and experiencing blended families and adoption.

Cushatt writes with an honesty that keeps the reader turning the pages. She shares the lessons she’s learned, the struggles she has add and how she handled adversity – including the good, bad and ugly.

I appreciated her humor that is sprinkled throughout her book. In discussing her diagnosis of cancer and the responses she received from people. This example reveals her sense of humor and she related this response from one person – “And my personal favorite: ‘My friend was diagnosed with the same kind of cancer as you. He died a few months ago.’ Thank you. Super helpful.” Now that’s funny!

This is potentially my favorite quote of the book from a powerful chapter. In chapter 16 she tells about going to Christmas Eve service with her three “littles.” You have to read the chapter to appreciate all that is going on, but as she brings the story to an end, she writes these words that she shared with a friend: “Just because something is hard doesn’t mean we’re not called to it. And just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not good.”

Undone was a compelling read and as I read it, I know the Cushatt’s story is not over. If your life has ever taken an unexpected twist, you will appreciate the words this book contains.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Buy a Thirty-One Product, Support our Adoption

Gotcha DayThis weekend, I got a cool message from one of my former students. When my family moved to Indiana to serve at Cedar Creek Church of Christ, Stephanie was in elementary school. Now (just a few years later) she is a mother of two. Stephanie messaged me and said she was thinking about how she could help us as we pursue adoption. Since she is a Thirty-One consultant, she decided to throw us a Thirty-One party!

If you are not familiar with Thirty-One, they sell bags, jewelry, purses, stationary, etc. The website says they “provide fun and functional products that make life easier.” I have never shopped Thirty-One, but my wife has and I know several ladies that are Thirty-One consultants. You can check out more about Thirty-One’s story on their website.

So, here’s how the party works. We have a unique page where you can browse for products and place your order. 25% of the proceeds from the sales will benefit our plans for adoption. We are grateful to Stephanie for putting this together.

Click on the image below to go to our unique Thirty-One page and you can start shopping. Even if you don’t need anything from Thirty-One, we would appreciate your prayers as we move toward adoption.

Thirty-One page

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Adoption Fund Raising Is Underway!

Adopt Together screenA couple of days I posted about our story of adoption and how people can get involved. Although we are just a week into our fundraising efforts, we have seen people be generous. Some have given through our Adopt Together website and others have given to us directly (some even anonymously). Right now, we are at 10% of our goal! We feel like that is a great start and appreciate all that have joined us in this journey.

If you are interested in learning more about where are and where we are headed with adoption, you can click on the image above and it will take you to our Adopt Together page. Even as I write this I know there are many families and organizations that are in need of and deserve financial support. We are grateful for those who decide to partner with us.

Thanks for taking the time to read about this journey we are on.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Thought Provoking Suicide Prevention Video

While catching up on my emails this week, I read one from a youth ministry blog I follow. One of the posts was about this video from the Mayo Clinic. While suicide is not a topic people enjoy discussing, I thought this video addressed the topic very well.

This is a good resource for parents and those who work with students. The video’s message is pretty clear: if you think your student is in trouble, say something. It talks about things to say and things not to say. There are some good insights to use and remember if you encounter a student struggling.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Our Story of Adoption & How You Can Help

10171918_1417043165228998_7744076981488006083_nIn the past few months I’ve posted about our Gotcha Day and how adoption has impacted our family. Max, who is almost 19 months old, will soon be joined by a little brother.

We have connected with a birth mom who is due June 22. We are making plans to travel to be present for the birth and to get to know the family. We have started the process to adopt again and have enlisted a great team here in Ohio and a great team in Maryland to assist us. Adopting Max happened very quickly and we pulled together various resources to pay for his adoption. Financially we need some help and we are using a non-profit fund-raising platform called Adopt Together to help us raise the necessary funds.

If you are someone (or you know someone) who has a heart for adoption, please visit our page. It tells a little bit more of our story about adoption and gives people an opportunity to help with the expenses. While this adoption won’t cost as much as Max’s adoption, we are seeking financial support.

To visit our Adopt Together page, click on the image below.  On our page, you will be able to read about our plans for adoption and how you can help if you feel led to do so.

Adopt Together screen

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Please Go Vote For Austin to Win Scholarship

Move MountainsHigh School graduation is just around the corner and seniors have been filling out scholarship applications left and right. My wife has searched all over for available scholarships and Austin, who graduates in May, has filled out a bunch.

Here’s a chance for you to help!

Austin is entered in the Kids Moving Mountains Scholarship. Four students will receive a $5,000 scholarship and one will receive $10,000.

Here’s how you can help: Click here to go to the Kids Moving Mountains site where you will see Austin’s picture. Take about 90 seconds to register and then vote! You can vote once a day until April 12th.

Thanks for taking the time to vote . . . now go do it!

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Our 1MISSION Campaign Page is Live!

1mission_2Several weeks ago I posted about how our IMPACT Student Ministry is going to partner with 1MISSION to build a home for a family in Mexico. Good News – our online campaign page is now live!

We’ve been working the past several weeks raising funds through our Upwards Basketball Concession stand.  We missed one week due to snow, but had 7 Saturdays where we sold various concession items.  Our Upward families were very generous as they purchased items and we are almost half-way to our goal!

Now that the campaign page is live, we can continue to work toward the goal of $4,000 to provide a home for the Ortiz Barajas Family in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora Mexico.

You can read more about the family and what they have done to position themselves to build a safe home for themselves.

Click here to go to our IMPACT Campaign Page.

But you may be asking, “Now what?”  Great question!  Here’s what you can do:

1) Donate!  Seems simple, but the campaign page is designed to allow people to go online and give toward our family.  100% of the funds given go to the project and any size gift is helpful.

2) Share the Link to the Campaign Page!  Let people know about our project by sharing the link through social media.  Get the word out to your friends and give them the opportunity to partner with us as we partner with 1MISSION.

3) Grab Some Friends and Do Something!  We did a concession stand.  You can donate your birthday and have people give money to 1MISSION instead of buying gifts for you.  Wash cars.  Offer to babysit for someone.  Every amount given moves us toward our goal.

We are excited about partnering with 1MISSION to build a home.  Help us reach our goal and provide a safe home for a family while we demonstrate God’s love.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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